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Aussies to pay more than $100 to visit GP

AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - General view editorial generic stock photo of Australian cash money currency. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
Cash-strapped Aussies are set for pricier GP’s appointments. Picture: Nicholas Eagar/NCA NewsWire

Australians are set to be charged more than $100 for a standard non-bulk billed GP appointment.

The fee of a standard GP consultation will rise to $102 in November, after the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recommended doctors lift their prices to battle rising practice costs.

This comes after AMA’s recommended fees rose up to $90 in March and $98 in July.

QLD_CP_NEWS_NEW_TRINITY_BEACH_DOCTORS_05MAY22
Nearly one in five Aussies delayed going to the doctor due to cost-of-living pressures in May, according to consumer research body Compare the Market.Picture: Brendan Radke

The Medicare rebate will also rise slightly by 20 cents in November, which should have “little impact” on the majority of patients, according to the peak medical body.

“The patient rebate hasn't kept pace with inflation over a long period of time,“ AMA NSW President Dr Michael Bonning said.

“If you look back over history the Medicare rebate hasn't kept pace with any measure of inflation.”

GP fees for vulnerable patients, including pensioners, welfare recipients and children under 16, will remain the same.

A new Medicare scheme will allow for longer telehealth calls. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/AAP.
A new Medicare scheme will allow for longer telehealth calls. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/AAP.

The federal government will also triple the bulk-billing incentives for doctors treating vulnerable cohorts starting 1 November.

More than 11.6 million people are expected to benefit from cheaper GP appointments, according to the federal government.

In city-based practices, rebates will increase to $20.65 instead of $6.85 for a standard consult and will rise to $39.65 instead of $13.15 in very remote areas.

This comes after the government introduced a new Medicare scheme, MyMedicare, to allow patients to formally register their preferred doctor’s clinic and GP and receive rebates on the cost of a telehealth appointment with that doctor.

The new service was introduced on October 1 and will gradually roll out more benefits over the next three years.